I have always been a big fan of pixel art and Metroidvania-type games. Those who know me are aware of my penchant for challenging games that push my limits. Any game that combines these elements instantly finds a place on my “must-play” list. So, when I first saw footage of Chronicles of 2 Heroes, my “self-flagellation” sense started tingling. Its fast-paced combat and platforming looked intense and exactly what I wanted to experience. After spending roughly 10 hours playing the game, I can say that Chronicles of 2 Heroes offers its fair share of fun but also has a few undeniable flaws.
2 heroes vs 2 villians
In Chronicles of 2 Heroes, you assume the roles of Kensei, a samurai, and Ayama, a Kunoichi, both hailing from a secretive village. Feudal Japan is under the tyrannical rule of the sun god Amaterasu and her disciple, Empress Himiko, who command a formidable army of yokai. It falls upon our duo to retrieve the three sacred treasures, which serve as the sources of power for the empress, and ultimately defeat Amaterasu to restore peace to the country. While the story itself is not particularly profound and follows a generic formula, the banter between our heroes adds an element of enjoyable camaraderie at times.
Fast paced platforming
So, while the story may be somewhat lackluster, the gameplay in Chronicles of 2 Heroes is undeniably captivating. One of its standout features is the ability to actively switch between the two protagonists. This introduces a fascinating puzzle element to the platforming segments. You’ll encounter various obstacles such as vanishing platforms, timed doors, and spiked floors throughout the game. Thankfully, our heroes differentiate themselves with their unique abilities. Kensei, the samurai, possesses swift movement that allows him to reach otherwise inaccessible areas, wielding his katana in combat. Ayama, the fast and acrobatic Kunoichi, excels at jumping and throwing knives. As you progress, you’ll acquire additional abilities like double jumping, mid-air hangtime, extra lives, and more knives, all of which aid you in overcoming the challenges presented at a satisfying pace. Switching between heroes is seamless, and missing platforms can only be attributed to one’s own misjudgment.
Chronicles of 2 Heroes features a variety of worlds, each with its own distinct setting. You’ll traverse snowy mountain paths, dark caves, and more, encountering unique obstacles that keep the gameplay fresh. Around halfway through my playthrough, I began to feel a sense of boredom as everything seemed too easy. However, just as I was about to give up, the game raised its difficulty, pulling me right back in. The bosses are particularly challenging and demand the full utilization of your acquired abilities. Believe me, they are not for the faint-hearted.
If we examine the artistic aspects of the game, it boasts a solid 16-bit pixel art style. While it may not be overly elaborate, and I’ve encountered more visually stunning pixel art games, it fulfills its purpose. However, my primary source of frustration doesn’t stem from the gameplay or visuals but rather from the soundtrack. Although each world has its own track, none of them truly stand out, and they all become painfully repetitive to the extent that I eventually opted to lower the volume.
This is our Chronicles of 2 Heroes review, which was played and tested on the Xbox Series X. Chronicles of 2 Heroes is available for purchase on Xbox S/X, Xbox one, PS4/PS5, Nintendo Switch and PC steam for $/€ 19,99 or $/€ 24,99
Chronicles of 2 Heroes" is a challenging action platformer with metroidvania elements. It's not a game for the faint-hearted or those with a short temper, but if you're up for a challenge, you're going to have a blast. Unfortunately, the soundtrack is awfully repetitive, and the visuals are decent at best, which is a significant drawback to the overall presentation.